Anderson to have TJ surgery, miss all of '17

After weighing options, 26-year-old righty elects to go under knife

Anderson to have TJ surgery, miss all of '17

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- No pitcher wants to go under the knife, but Cody Anderson weighed his options and discussed his situation with medical experts and even some teammates. After considering all the factors, Anderson felt Tommy John surgery was the proper course of action.

"I think Cody made a really mature decision," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I don't think he rushed into anything. I think he thought it through. And this way, it's all in front of him now."

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The Indians announced Sunday morning that Anderson elected to have right elbow reconstruction surgery after receiving a second opinion from Dr. Keith Meister on Friday, meaning the pitcher will miss the entire 2017 campaign. Meister confirmed Cleveland's diagnosis of a sprained ulnar collateral ligament, along with a mild flexor strain.

Anderson said he felt a sharp pain in his right elbow earlier this spring while trying to really ramp up the intensity of his throwing. The setback comes after the 26-year-old starter had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Nov. 9. That procedure, which was also performed by Dr. Meister, was aimed at addressing posterior discomfort and an impingement in the back of the elbow joint.

The details of when Anderson will have his next surgery are still being worked out.

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"The fact that I'm sitting out an entire year is pretty tough," Anderson said. "But not being able to come back after other treatments, that's even more scary. Then, you could possibly miss two years. I thought this was the best move for the team and my career."

Anderson enjoyed a strong rookie showing with the Indians in 2015, going 7-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 starts. The righty was named the team's No. 4 starter at the end of Spring Training one year ago, then endured a rocky campaign that saw him go 2-5 with a 6.68 ERA in 19 games (nine starts). It was revealed after the season that Anderson had dealt with elbow woes late in the second half.

This spring, Anderson was not in the running for a spot in the Major League rotation, which projects to include Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. In all likelihood, Anderson would have been ticketed for Triple-A Columbus to open the season.

Tomlin, who had Tommy John surgery in 2012, agreed that Anderson made a sound decision.

"Don't underestimate the work ethic that he has, the drive that he has to try to get back," Tomlin said. "It's obviously a tough situation to be in, whenever you have to go through something like that. But there's also the point of, you have to understand, 'I'm better when I'm healthy,' and trying to kind of work through things like that.

"I think he's taking the right approach in trying to be proactive on it, and trying to get it taken care of as quick as he can so he can come back and be the Cody Anderson that he once was."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.